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Research Paper Outline and Getting Writing Going

Research papers are always exciting to read. Let's consider a small piece of one:

"Brand loyalty has become incredibly important in psychology over recent years. There is a strong relationship between the age of exposure and the loyalty of a brand, but should brands consider early exposure when they are looking to obtain brand loyalty through their customer base? There are many key relationships between brand trust and loyalty that need to be explored, for instance, the nature of demographics, age, and memories of customers. This study calculated some of the answers to these questions using analysis through data obtained via online questionnaires. Results showed alarming relationships between these factors and brand loyalty."

This is an example of the well thought out part of a research paper introduction that has clearly come from a solid research paper outline. In reading, you can tell the paper is off to an engaging beginning, with a lot more in store for the audience. At this point, typically, students may be wondering a lot of things, for instance, how they can get such a good start on their research or how they can create an effective outline for research paper. There are plenty of good and bad examples of research papers and as an aspiring student, you need to make sure you can create a research paper example that shines amongst the others.

It's probably true that as a high school student, you may not have a great deal of research paper examples to put to your name, so how can you create an example of a research paper that is truly outstanding? To start, you'll need a good topic and a strong focus in order to get your paper outline rolling. Let's take a look at how to form a research topic and get some good ideas.

Example of a research paper - forming ideas worth writing about

So how exactly has the research paper example introduction above gotten off to such a good start? The best kind of essay starts with the best kind of topic, so take time to choose something that works for you. It's vitally important to write about what you're highly familiar with already - don't make the mistake of picking a subject that is so obscure that you haven't a clue about what to write! Subjects that are far too technical to get your head around will also not do. Get something you're passionate about down on paper and start to brainstorm some ideas around it. Pick a topic that is not only manageable but also doable.

You'll start noticing that preliminary ideas will become stronger once you get reading around them. You will want to read many examples of research papers that fall into your topic category in order to narrow your focus down. After picking up another article and giving it a thorough read, have you discovered anything new and interesting, anything to arouse your curiosity or any gaps that you may have found in research? Soon you will notice your research question coming to life in your head.

Following on from this exercise, it is good practice to think about what your sources will be. The most reputable sources are always primary, however, there can also be a lot of credible information in the secondary sources. It is also about how much information there is available for research - if you've got a great question but no one has said anything about it, it will be difficult to advance in your research paper. How exactly will you back up your arguments then? No matter what research paper outline you're considering, you will need to think about how your research will be backed up.

By now, the focus should be strong and the ideas will have narrowed down form a robust topic, so how can one plan and create a research essay outline which will guide them on their way?

Outline for research paper: planning, writing, and more

Ask any professor or academic and they will tell you that the research paper outline is the most important part of the whole process. It doesn't matter what level, whether you're writing an APA research paper outline or just an outline for research paper which is for a school grade, it is structurally the same but is often neglected by students. The research paper outline template is a vital part of your essay - you need to follow it in order to flesh out your points and keep your essay structured correctly.

Research paper outline template

If you haven't the time and you've looked through dozens of research papers examples for outline ideas, feel free to use our research paper outline template. If it's an APA research paper outline or some other, you can use it in almost every research essay outline situation.

  1. Title
  • Provide a summation of your topic in a sentence or two.
  • Give the name of your supervisor and any other significant names after yours.
  1. Abstract
  • Keep it brief - less is more in this situation (usually 200 words max).
  • What was your study about?
  • What were your methods?
  • What were your main outcomes?
  • What have you concluded?
  • What recommendations can you give for further research?
  • Always check that the style of your abstract matches the style of your research paper guidelines.
  1. Contents page
  • Break down each section and subsection and provide the titles of each.
  1. Introduction
  • Make it as brief as you can.
  • Organise all of your thoughts clearly.
  • Introduce the context in a clear manner.
  • Define the research problem and nature.
  • Include a thesis statement comprising three key points about your topic.
  • Why is your topic so important?
  • Make sure you define all the different terms.
  • What do you expect the outcome of your research will be? You will need to write a hypothesis or prediction.
  1. Methodology
  • Provide a step-by-step account of the methods in the past tense.
  • Anyone who is reading your methodology should be able to follow and repeat your methods with ease.
  • Talk about all of the special equipment you have used.
  • It is important that the reader understands how you obtained your data, so include this in your research paper outline example.
  1. Body
  • Give ample examples of the study context.
  • Provide a comprehensive account of your results.
  • Use the data analysis techniques in order to analyse your data as best you can.
  1. Conclusion
  • Create a comprehensive summary of all your findings.
  • Relate back to your thesis statement and write about whether you have achieved what you set out to.
  • Give key recommendations for further research that could be carried out in your field.
  • Write about some of the limitations of your research paper.
  1. References
  • Every reference should be included here in the appropriate style, e.g. Harvard referencing in your research paper outline example.
  • Make sure that you cite your references in order.
  1. Appendix
  • Include any raw data you have here.

We hope that this research paper outline example can create good examples of research papers for you. The research paper outline example above only serves as the bare bones of your research paper. To create an example of a research paper that is truly outstanding, one needs to flesh out their research paper outline with the relevant "meat".

It's great practice to check other research paper examples with your supervisor. Sooner or later, you'll find that the research paper outline will serve you well in starting and finishing your research paper.

Good luck and time to get going!

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